Budgeting. It’s not at the top of my list of fun weekend activities. If my partner sends an email about it, the cringey snapshot of our household finances usually drifts to the bottom of my inbox unread.
Budgets can be boring and overwhelming. But they also help manage problems (debt!) and guide decisions that bring us closer to a bigger goal. Like making sure all Canadians can afford a good home or tackling the climate crisis.
Which is why they’re boring, overwhelming and super important.
Decision makers are designing Canada’s next federal budget right now. It should be released in late March or early April.
Here are 6 reasons to overcome your aversion to budgeting and get involved.
1. The budget locks in the government’s priorities for the year. And not just in terms of spending. The budget plays a key role in setting the government’s overall agenda.
2. 5 key budget actions can help ease the squeeze. They include curbing housing speculation, protecting and upgrading affordable rentals, setting legally binding climate targets and making child care universal. That's why we've made it easy for you to call on the government to include these 5 policies in the next budget!
3. Governments consistently underinvest in younger generations. Since 1976, spending per person has increased 4x faster for retirees than for people under 45. Which isn’t to say older generations don’t need it. The point is that policies targeting younger generations – like education and child care – matter, too.
Especially since investing in policies that give younger Canadians a better shot solves problems for other people and the planet, too. #winning
4. The budget is go-time for making election promises a reality. All parties made pledges last fall to ease the challenges facing young people. These included taking steps to control housing costs, tax carbon emissions and make child care more affordable. Now elected officials need to follow through with – and in a bunch of cases, strengthen – those commitments, which starts with the budget.
5. Um, it’s your money? The tax you pay on your income, the interest on your student loans, the GST you get charged on consumer goods and more are all sources of revenue for the federal budget. Not only should these dollars support your future, you should have a say in how they’re used. Hot tip: If you’re not making noise, you can bet other taxpayers are.
6. The government is asking for ideas on how to invest it! Specifically, they want your input on how to make life more affordable AND how to fight the climate crisis as part of public budget consultations happening right now.
Using our online tool and in the same amount of time it took to read this blog, you can submit a message to the budget consultation, relevant cabinet ministers and your MP, calling for those 5 key budget actions that ease your squeeze. It’s that easy.
Spiel complete! Over to you.